Usually when a celebrity or athlete sports the branding of a product, the company looks favorably at that person because they are exposing their brand to potential new consumers. You’d think that would be the case with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, who often wears Abercrombie & Fitch clothing with nearly 8 million viewers watching weekly on Jersey Shore. However, according to new reports, the youth apparel company is looking to pay off the Jersey Shore star in order to distance their brand from the controversial star and MTV television series.
“We are deeply concerned that Mr Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image,” a company spokesperson said when they learned he wore their clothing in a recent episode. “We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand and may be distressing to many of our fans.”
The company notes that they are offering him “substantial” payments in order to have him stop wearing their clothing. Critics of the company, however, are stating that the company is simply doing this as a publicity stunt, as the company has been known to have young models with little clothing promoting their products.
In fact, fueling speculation that it is a publicity stunt, TMZ reported Wednesday that the company never personally contacted “The Situation” offering the exchange, but rather released a statement to get the publicity that they’ve already received.
After the statement was released by the company on Wednesday, the company stock dipped 9%, which may or may not have had to do with the statement.
Since the controversy, Hustler issued a press release on Thursday, offering “The Situation” a chance to wear its clothing line.